Monday, October 14, 2013

Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

I've wanted to watch this film ever since it came out . But haven't really gone around to seeing it for no particular reason. Based on an autobiographical book by Austrian Mountain climber Heinrich Harrer about his experience on living in Tibet at a pivotal time in it's history , the movie weaves a fascinating story of adventure , drama and war mixed in with the almost magical essence of an isolated kingdom led by a young boy. To those of you living under a rock or have heard of it but know little about Tibet and the Dalai Lama . Essentially the Tibetans believe that the Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the Bodhisattva of Mercy , a god-like entity and yes they worship him, before the chinese occupation he would have been the absolute spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet. Heinrich Harrer played by Brad Pitt , moves into Tibet to escape a prison camp in India. Being austrian and all , and this happened during world war II, since both countries were at war. He was in climbing expedition in British territory, thus he was captured.

In Tibet he begins to build a life for himself with fellow climber and escapee Peter Aufschnaiter . Being the only westerners and foreigners aside from the chinese diplomatic delegation , they acquire a certain curious celebrity status . This notoriety piques at the interest of the young Dalai Lama that he asks for a meeting with Heinrich , at first just wanting to know more about the western world , the two eventually becomes friends.

Most of the time , no matter how big a movie star Brad Pitt becomes , he is often underestimated as an actor. Most people get lost in the fact that he is good looking , most movie stars are good looking - but I guess Brad Pitt is way ahead of the pack on that department which makes it both a blessing and a curse for him. People don't really see when he displays his acting chops. Which is most probably why he has grown a beard for most of his roles in recent years .In this movie he is really good , he outshines everyone , not just because he is the star , because he performed really well. And the supporting cast in all fairness also did well in their roles , so it's not really a fluke. The story is already amazing , there is no doubt about that , but to translate it well onscreen is another matter. And the entire cast and crew were able to do that. This is an excellent film . It is long , but every scene was important , and it is very engaging and interesting . And yes it was one of Brad Pitt's best works..

Watch Trailer Here

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer
David Thewlis as Peter Aufschnaiter
B.D. Wong as Ngawang Jigme
Mako as Kungo Tsarong
Danny Denzongpa as Regent
Victor Wong as Chinese 'Amban'
Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė as Ingrid Harrer
Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk as Dalai Lama, 14 years old

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